The top 3 growth lessons to learn from 2021

Building a better tomorrow

Vidhi Kumar
Director - People Capability 21 Dec 2021

Instructional Design Specialist Dale Carnegie Certified Trainer Hogan Assessments Coach yoga afficionado cleanliness freak storyteller
Man with a face mask sitting near brown boxes
Image Credit

The top 3 growth lessons to learn from 2021

Building a better tomorrow

It’s December already! In many ways, I am glad the year went by so quick. What started off with a resurgence of hope and normalcy, quickly turned horrifying, but is finally ending with everyone cautiously making their way into the new normal. ‘New normal’ was the go-to phrase of last year but it is this year that we have truly started to appreciate the meaning of the phrase and its gravity on our lives. Moving on from losses, displaying courage, transcending all differences to help each other, and weaving safety into the fabric of everything we do – the year has taught us many lessons that will stay with us and become our DNA. Here are my top three lessons which will help me navigate towards growth and positivity in the new year:

  1. Resilience and the Ability to bounce back
  2. Innovative Problem-Solving
  3. Sustainability

1. Resilience & the ability to bounce back

I start with this lesson because at the core of all of our existence is the ability to collect ourselves from whatever we have been through and move on. Psychologist and author Angela Duckworth indicates Resilience as the ability to bounce back after we have struggled or failed. The key to resilience is often being able to see across the darkness and just know that there is light. No one will tell you that. It comes from deep-seated optimism, faith and self-awareness. It also needs us to be gritty – to never give up trying to work towards a better tomorrow. In many ways, this is the most important milestone as we chart our road towards growth and building a better tomorrow.

2. Innovative Problem Solving

I am probably cheating a little here by clubbing two critical lessons into one! However, in my defence, this year has pushed our limits to try and solve problems we never knew existed. Vaccinating your workforce was never part of any organisational job description. With businesses returning to normalcy during the first half of the year, so many of us innovated to make sure each one of their employees – no matter how remote – was safely vaccinated. This is just one example that I’m sure resonates with many of us. Several other such case studies have proven that a straight-jacketed approach to work will not work in the future. Boundaries will have to be redefined and problems will need to be seen from an innovative lens.

3. Sustainability

This lesson is closest to me – personally and professionally. When we started out, at Samriddhi Consulting, we made a conscious decision to choose sustainable growth projects that were meaningful and had a long-term impact on the business. However, the post-pandemic appreciation of our environment had a deeper personal impact on me. I started seriously reading up about Sustainability and realised that it is not the same as ‘environmental-ism’! Sustainability is defined by the United Nations as

development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

This can work across the entire spectrum of activities we are involved in – social and economic. For the longest time, we were limited by our thinking that this balance is unachievable, but sometimes a jolt is needed to make us realise that what we have been taking for granted isn’t possible anymore. Work from home proved that we could reduce our carbon footprint by travelling less. 2021 has been the year when #netzero and EarthShot became forces of action towards preserving our climate. The scarcity of fuel in Britain this year was another bolt for us to consider electric vehicles seriously. Several start-ups are successfully and profitably engaging in responsible businesses to create a better future. My personal commitment this year has been to reduce my carbon footprint and I started by measuring mine here. As a vegetarian, who doesn’t drive around much now, I was disappointed to find out that my carbon footprint is 5.49 tonnes of CO2e as against the global average of 4 tonnes per year. But as we say, the journey towards improvement begins with measuring!

On that note, I’m looking forward to a year when I can be conscious about my personal impact on this planet and reduce to at least 4 tonnes of CO2e by next time this year and use my resilience and innovation to get there. So much for public commitments 😊 Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful festive season as well and best wishes as we ring in a new year.